Over the past two months we have brought you an inside look at dozens of NFL Draft prospects here at Lombardi Ave with our player Q&A series.
We had the opportunity to sit down with several players via phone or email and hear their thoughts on their strengths and weaknesses as a player, a little bit about their background, and how they would feel about playing in the NFL, specifically for the Green Bay Packers next season.
In constructing these player interviews I tried to reach out to players that I believe had a legitimate chance of landing with Green Bay on draft day. I didn’t even waste time trying to get ahold top-ten locks like Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins (not saying I could even if I tried), but I did speak with a few potential first-rounders, like Aaron Donald and Calvin Pryor–both players that could be considered with Green Bay’s 21st overall pick.
More importantly, I was able to speak with a number of projected second day players, like Iowa’s Christian Kirksey, Louisville’s Marcus Smith, and Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas, who would not only meet a major need on the Packers roster but would also be great value in the second or third round of the draft.
As you can see, I spoke with plenty of players at positions I believe are major needs on the Packers roster going into the draft, like safety, linebacker, and defensive line. I even spoke with a few tight ends, wide receivers, and offensive linemen.
Overall, it was great to hear from the players firsthand about their game and their expectations heading into the draft. I was taken aback by the response from these players and how grateful and appreciative they were just to have the opportunity to share their thoughts about their game and themselves with the fans.
Most of the players expressed they would feel excited to play in Green Bay and would appreciate the opportunity to play for such a historic franchise and for such great fans. The Packers organization and fan base are notorious for being classy and supportive, and I think this resonates in the players’ responses about playing in Green Bay.
If you have not had the chance to check out our interviews with these 34 draft prospects, I highly recommend you skim through this list and read a few. Heck, read all of them. But not because they are pieces I wrote.
In all honesty, what makes these Q&A pieces work is we get the opportunity as fans to hear firsthand from the players. It’s the players’ responses that carry these pieces, and as a fan of both the draft and the Packers, I enjoyed learning more about each player through these interviews and I hope you do too.
Here are all of the player Q&As we ran the past two months. I also included our interview with NFL Draft expert Tony Pauline if you want a nice draft overview for the Packers.
Let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for how to run this series next year, let me know in the comments sections below. I would love to get your feedback because this is just as much for you, the reader, as it is for me.
Player Q&As by Position
Keith Wenning, Ball State (Late Round)
Wide Receiver (3)
Brandon Coleman, Rutgers (Early-Mid Round)
Devin Street, Pittsburgh (Mid Round)
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest (Mid Round)
Tight End (2)
Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (Early Round)
Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State (Mid Round)
Offensive Line (3)
Brandon Thomas, Clemson (Early Round)
Anthony Steen, Alabama (Early-Mid Round)
Travis Swanson, Arkansas (Mid Round)
Defensive Line (9)
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh (Top 20)
Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (Early Round)
Brent Urban, Virginia (Early Round)
Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (Early Round)
Will Clarke, West Virginia (Early-Mid Round)
Josh Mauro, Stanford (Mid Round)
Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State (Late Round)
Jay Bromley, Syracuse (Late Round)
Robert Thomas, Arkansas (Late Round)
Inside Linebacker (3)
Yawin Smallwood, UConn (Early-Mid Round)
Christian Kirksey, Iowa (Early-Mid Round)
Preston Brown, Louisville (Mid Round)
Outside Linebacker (5)
Marcus Smith, Louisville (Early Round)
Cassius Marsh, UCLA (Mid Round)
Kasim Edebali, Boston College (Mid Round)
Michael Sam, Missouri (Late Round)
Chaz Sutton, South Carolina (Late Round)
Victor Hampton, South Carolina (Early Round)
Ross Cockrell, Duke (Mid Round)
Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame (Mid Round)
Calvin Pryor, Louisville (First Round)
Ed Reynolds, Stanford (Early Round)
Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (Early-Mid Round)
Hakeem Smith, Louisville (Late Round)
Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State (Late Round)
Interview with NFL Draft Scout Tony Pauline.